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The Curious Blur of Political Candidate and Beauty Contestant

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A funny thing happened to me one night last week as I clicked my way from That ‘70s Show reruns to the Forensics Files.

I flipped by CNN and saw the brouhaha over Miss California Carrie Prejean and her political incorrectness. Then as I rounded the curve past Fox News, I noticed coverage on our dear President Obama and how "hot" he is, as proclaimed by The Washingtonian magazine.

Fast forward to last night’s Presidential "press conference." I’ll admit I don’t watch such extravaganzas because politicians of every ilk irk the crap out of me right now, even our Fearless Leader. For the most part, the capabilities of our current press corps have descended into an all time low, and the antics of some of these so-called journalists makes me want to retch. Besides, anyone can get the speech in advance online.

It is there I discovered President Obama was thrown this  softball of a query by Jeff Zeleny:

During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about this office? Enchanted you the most from serving in this office? Humbled you the most? And troubled you the most?


I may be old, but the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

First of all, Miss USA: I don’t watch beauty contests anymore, but as a young child, I remember it was one event my mother looked forward to each year. Even though the pageant circuit is proclaimed wonderful for the hopefuls and their families, the whole Jon Benet incident cast a creepy light over beauty contests. It’s not just sour grapes because I could never be a contender. (I’ll admit it here in front of God and billions on the Internet. I never could.) If girls want to go for it, whether it’s for the glory or the scholarships, well, I’m all for freedom of expression, so whatever floats your boat is fine by me.

Beauty contestants are supposed to be, well, beautiful. Sure, they can be smart, a little sassy, show a modicum of talent, be stacked like a brick house and so pristine any boy’s mother would love them, but offer a political viewpoint? She can have her opinions just like any of us, but that doesn’t mean I want to know about them.

On the other hand, presidents are supposed to be, well, thoughtful statesmen. They should exude strength but not strong arm. They shouldn’t be afraid to field challenges from the press. In fact, they should welcome such challenges.  It’s just me I know, but I expect a certain decorum and respect for the office.

The requirements for Miss USA are vastly different from those for our Commander in Chief. For someone like Perez Hilton to ask such a hot button question on gay marriage to a prospective beauty queen and consider the “incorrect” answer to be a deal breaker is only one of the things about the proceedings that is just plain wrong.

Counterpoint that with the softball (Nerfball?) question posed to our President about his moment of enchantment. Is the point of enchantment during the first 100 days really a tough question? Because believe me, if I had President Obama in a room alone for an hour, I could think up several dozen tougher questions that deserve un-teleprompted answers. Real answers, not political mumbo-jumbo and double-speak.

Am I the only one shaking my head wondering what that’s all about?

The more I view the spectacle of the political arena, the more I am convinced that politics is nothing more than a popularity contest, where only the beautiful, the moneyed and the golden-tongued have a chance. Once inside the Beltway, politicians are free to forget their jobs, like actually reading legislation, and get down to the business of grooming a following. Our president has succeeded by buttering up the world community and doling out the pork to his loyal subjects.

Mr. Obama is said to be good looking (he does nothing for me), has a lot of dough, friends in high places and he writes and speaks beautifully. Oh, and he passed the swimsuit competition with flying colors.

The only logical explanation for our upside-down world is that Miss California and Mr. President had their questions switched at birth at the hospital. Or maybe those asking the questions were in the wrong venue to begin with.

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About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.
  • zingzing

    ruvy, it’s afternoon here. obviously, not drinking…

    obama is like stalin, eh? that’s some theory. i dunno… what exactly has he done to piss you off? engaged the middle east with diplomacy instead of bombs?

    ahh. too fuckin bad, ruvy. most people desire peace. it’s a good thing.

    other than that, what exactly makes you think he’s leading this country into your “pit?” the economy seems to be somewhat recovering, our domestic and foreign policies seem more humane, we’re once again working with stem cells, we’re winding down the unnecessary war in iraq…

    things could be better, but things could be far worse. if you’d like to point out where obama is going wrong, and do so without using your little pet name for the man, i’d be willing to listen.

    mostly, you just say “the apocalypse is coming!” then you go hide behind some rock as no apocalypse comes. it’s kind of boy who cried wolf territory. you’re making a joke of yourself. (look at what people say to you… you’re paranoid, you desire violence and you are a rather vague alarmist. the schtick is getting old.)

  • zing, I hate to tell you this, but Joanne is documenting the development of a cult of personality not dissimilar to that of Joseph Stalin’s. You even see it here with Eric Olsen’s Obama-rama series. This second rate amateur (don’t worry, McCain would have been just as bad, if not worse) is leading you into a rose garden with a spiked pit in the middle for you all to fall into. How you answer the question, “does he know or care about that spiked pit?” puts you either in the “incompetent putz” category or “conspiracy to kill the country” category in judging the man.

    Keep suckin’ at the bottle, zing. When you sober up, you are liable to find yourself with a gold idol of the ‘Blessed of Hussein’ to bow down to where Broadway and Bedford Avenue meet in Williamsburgh – and a few nasty goons to make sure that you DO bow. Have a great night, dude!

  • zingzing

    “Gee zingzing, don’t you pay attention to People magazine? (Or any number of magazines or “news” programs?)”

    no… not really. do you?

    “It’s all about the New Camelot, the Obama mystique, the clothes, the charisma, the hair, the buff, the hotties in the White House, ad nauseum.”

    and you’re (obviously) fool enough to read it?

    “I amend my previous conjecture: how does the President have any time left to figure out he’s going to bankrupt my yet-to-be-born grandchildren, swine flu, war or the New Depression?”

    what the hell are you talking about?

  • Gee zingzing, don’t you pay attention to People magazine? (Or any number of magazines or “news” programs?) It’s all about the New Camelot, the Obama mystique, the clothes, the charisma, the hair, the buff, the hotties in the White House, ad nauseum. I amend my previous conjecture: how does the President have any time left to figure out he’s going to bankrupt my yet-to-be-born grandchildren, swine flu, war or the New Depression?

  • This may knock the wind out of President Obama’s sails: Prime Minister Berlusconi of Italy says that HE is the most popular world leader. the 72-year-old Mr Berlusconi – who has proclaimed himself the Jesus Christ of Italian politics and once said he was second only to Napoleon, except taller – was heckled by protesters who shouted “go away!”

    How dare they!!! So there!

    Can we have a reality TV show and compare them?


  • “Oh, Lord, it’s hard to be humble
    When you’re perfect in every way.
    I can’t wait to look in the mirror,
    ‘Cause I get better looking each day.
    Some folks say that I’m egotistical –
    Hell, I don’t even know what that means;
    I guess it has something to do with the way
    That I pull on my skin-tight blue jeans.”

  • zingzing

    Am I the only one shaking my head wondering what this’s all about?

    you take one question by one journalist, contrast it with some dumb hick blondie answering a question by perez hilton, and we’re supposed to get something out of it?

    wait, are you telling us that obama wasn’t asked any questions of substance? that he didn’t talk about the problems that he (and the world) is facing?

    jesus christ.

    you’re serious?

    next we’ll be wondering what kind of a bra he wears. or if he’ll come to our sleep over! or maybe–giggle giggle–if he’d be our BOYFRIEEEENND!?

    usually, your articles at least have a bit of substance, but this is just total bullshit. you’re taking unrelated things and comparing the most political moment from a fucking tv show with the soft opening to a political question and answer session. if you can really say that obama’s questioning got EASIER from there, then this would have some merit. but it didn’t. so this doesn’t.

    so grow up. “hubris” is right.

  • R & B, a thought has occurred to me (and others) that our President has never had any real challenges in his lifetime. He has only been met with fawning admirers and wants to be liked. Therefore, he is unaccustomed to dealing with any challenges to his ideas.

    Humble? I think the adjective is “hubris” isn’t it?

  • Baronius

    Great wit behind this article, Joanne. And did you hear Obama’s answer to the “humbling” question? The man both literally and figuratively doesn’t know what humble means.

  • While I wait for my article on the piggy flu to be published I’ll tell you that journalism has become merely a form of flattery for the exalted leaders – who all – all over the world – think their shit don’t stink.

    It’s been 100 days already? And the Republic hasn’t fallen? Miracles never cease, do they?